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The Most Important Hires You’ll Make Are Your First Employees. So How Do You Spot a Good One?

We all know how important employees are to any company. Payroll is often your biggest expense. It takes A-plus employees to build a successful business, and if you’re going to spend most of your waking hours at work, why not spend it with people you enjoy?

I think hiring great talent is absolutely critical to get right, and it’s why one of my favorite questions to ask other founders is “What’s your favorite interview question?”

Doing so has helped me unearth some gems that I now include in my own interviewing practices–like the all-revealing “On a scale of one to 10, how lucky are you?” (which is an instant gauge of how positive and glass-half-full a candidate is — I love answers that are 8-plus).

Asking smart questions is helpful, but only when you know what to look for. Having spent my career in companies of all sizes, I do think there are specific qualities that make up a phenomenal early-stage employee–the person you want in the trenches with you when you’ve got fewer than 50 employees.

Here’s what to look for in your future star employees:

1. Generalists, generalists, generalists

Your biggest pain point today may be marketing. But what about tomorrow? In an early-stage company, you need well-rounded players who are willing to roll up their sleeves and figure out how to do anything and everything.

The best early hires I made at LearnVest could transition seamlessly from running a focus group to understanding our customer acquisition stats to reviewing a legal doc. They were title agnostic and open to pitching in wherever they were most needed. While it might seem counterintuitive, deep expertise in a niche area is less important at this stage than finding an athlete who can do anything and everything.

Often, people who fit this description are inbound candidates. They’ve gotten scrappy and identified your company as an exciting opportunity. They want to be at a startup because they want to have a voice in shaping a company’s future. Ask questions like, “What gets you out of the bed in the morning?” to verify that their motivation is intrinsic and driven by a need to contribute in any and all ways.

2. No egos

One of my mentors once told me, “If you knew what it took to start a company, you’d never do it.” Building a company is hard.

That’s why there’s no room for egos–both literally and figuratively. For starters, chances are your first HQ will be small and a rude awakening for any employee coming from a corporate boardroom. But beyond that, everyone needs to check office politics at the door and bring a team-first mindset.

In the interview process, dig into how a candidate worked with others. Ask them to describe a group project they worked on. Is this someone who’s willing to do whatever it takes to help the team? (For example, before our first board meeting at LearnVest, I was the one cleaning the bathroom before our board members came in. At the end of the day, they appreciated how “all in” I was!) Does this person share credit and praise their co-workers?

Early-stage teams are often limited in the number of teammates, which means that everyone has to give that much more. Think of it as a startup golden rule: Be the kind of employee you would want to work with. For me, that means zero egos.

3. Believers

In the earliest days, your success isn’t tangible yet. Employees have to derive motivation from a bigger vision and unite around a shared mission.

Simply put, you can’t have any skeptics at this stage. Look for people who bring positivity, optimism, and a can-do attitude. It is these believers who will act as your culture builders, and once your company scales, they will help you carry your original mission forward.

It can be hard to spot this quality in an interview process, so be sure to spend some time on the topic in any reference calls you do. Try to understand how this person has weathered challenges in past roles (from someone other than the candidate).

4. Grit

Growing up, I was a competitive diver. One of the best lessons it taught me was grit. No matter how your dives go, you have to get back up on the platform and keep pushing yourself. You have to fully commit to every move you make, despite the pressure for perfection and the eyeballs on you.

You need that same grit in your early employees. There’s so much competition–both from incumbents and other startups that will inevitably appear in the same space. The curveballs are endless. Or, as I’ve said, being an entrepreneur is like getting punched in the face every day. Those who succeed are those who have grit, pure and simple. It’s OK to take a day off or walk around the block on a challenging day, but only the resilient ones who show up every day, ready to face the next task, make it.

I’ve long been a believer in setting goals that seem too far out of reach. When you strive for something that seems impossible, you’ll often end up going much farther than if you set the bar too low. The best gritty employees I’ve seen have been able to reach those far-out goals–because they continue to push and come up with creative solutions. In practice, this might be your business development lead who repeatedly gets a no from your dream partner. Instead of letting it lie, they come up with a creative solution to nudge the door open and end up inking a deal after all.

As the saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” The best startup personalities are those who are motivated by roadblocks. There’s no time to shut down for a pity party–you have to keep working harder, smarter, and better.

By: Alexa von Tobel

Source: The Most Important Hires You’ll Make Are Your First Employees. So How Do You Spot a Good One?

Get your Bulk Hiring happen in just 4 days with unlimited free job posting only at Freshersworld.com.(To register : http://corp.freshersworld.com?src=You…) ,This video will give you an insight about Ways to improve your hiring process. One of the most important ongoing tasks you’ll have as a business leader is hiring. It’s not easy, though; it’s a time-consuming process with monetary and reputational consequences if you make a bad hire. Taking the time to find the right person — someone who is not just technically capable but also a good fit for the company — is important. Companies that are successful in hiring have a process that includes attracting high-quality candidates, evaluating them in several different areas, and taking the time to get to know the people in different ways. Here are some tips to build and improve your own hiring process. 1. Job descriptions. If you’re not careful, the way your job posting is written can deter great candidates from applying. The more successful postings included statements such as “We seek to provide employees with constructive feedback to foster their career growth,” and “You will have many opportunities to collaborate with talented people.” The takeaway? Put more of the focus on what your company can do for potential employees, and you’ll attract candidates who better fit your needs. 2. Embrace digital trends and social media. Most people want to work for companies that keep up with the latest tech trends Another good way to embrace the digital side is to make sure your career site is mobile-friendly. 3. Focus on soft skills. Although the right skill set may seem like the most important factor in whether a candidate is a good fit for a particular role, the truth is that skills can be acquired, but personalities cannot. 4. Check social media profiles. Like most employers, you’ll probably do a background check (or at least a quick Google search on the candidate’s name) to see what comes up about that person online. But if you’re not looking through the candidate’s social media profiles, you could be missing a key way to find out more about the individual as a person and an employee — for better or for worse. While it’s legally risky to allow a candidate’s social media activity to factor into your hiring decisions, it can give you a better picture of someone you’re interested in hiring 5. Fit the personality to the job. A candidate’s personality is another important factor to consider. For example, a trait such as empathy would likely be much more important for a nurse or a social worker than it would be for a tax attorney or a computer programmer. 6. Improve your interviews. Eighty-two percent of the 5,000 managers surveyed reported that the interviewers were too focused on other issues, too pressed for time or lacked confidence in their interviewing abilities to pay attention to red flags candidates exhibited during the interview process. Do not overlook on factors like coachability, emotional intelligence, temperament and motivation. 7. Let candidates interview you, too. Allowing prospective employees to interview you will give you a chance to see what’s important to them. Plus, it will give candidates a chance to determine that they want to keep pursuing a job at your company, or to decide that it’s not the right fit for them. 8. Keep an eye on your reviews. Potential employees often seek insider information about companies they want to work for, and this includes salary estimates, interview tips and reviews from current and former employees. Top candidates may not even apply in the first place if they don’t like what they see: 69 percent of job seekers said they would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were currently unemployed. On the flip side, 94 percent of respondents said they’re likely to apply for a job if the employer actively manages the employer brand by responding to reviews, updating the company’s profile, and sharing updates on the company’s culture and work environment. And if you have a lot of negative reviews from former employees, it may be time to work on your company culture before you try to fill any open positions. Freshersworld.com is the No.1 job portal for freshers jobs in India. Check Out website for more Jobs & Careers. http://www.freshersworld.com?src=Youtube Here is the Android app of fresherworld.com now we are more closer to you : Link : https://play.google.com/store/apps/de… ***Disclaimer: This is just a training video for candidates and recruiters. The name, logo and properties mentioned in the video are proprietary property of the respective organizations. The Preparation tips and tricks are an indicative generalized information. In no way Freshersworld.com, indulges into direct or indirect promotion of the respective Groups or organizations.

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Ten Things Never, Ever To Do Unless You’re Getting Paid

Dear Liz,

I read your columns, but I still struggle to take your advice.

I left my job in December because they cut my hours.

My boss’s boss reached out to me in January and asked me if I wanted him to introduce me to a guy he knows who has a company here in town.

I said, sure! I was flattered. I got a call from the guy who owns the company, “Martin,” the next day.

Martin wanted to have coffee and talk about his need for a new project manager in his company.

We had coffee. It was a great meeting. We were at the coffee shop for two hours. When we left the coffee shop, Martin said, “Let’s try to put something together next week.”

I sent Martin a thank-you email message right away. Three days later, I heard from his admin “Becky.” She asked me to come to the office the following day. I did.

That was a three-hour meeting with Martin and two of his Project Managers. It was another great meeting. I asked Martin, “Is this a full-time position, or a contract?” and Martin said they weren’t sure yet.

A week went by. I heard from Becky. They said they wanted me to come in and work for half a day. I wrote back to ask, “How does that work in terms of your payroll?”

Becky said, “I don’t know. Just come in on Friday and we’ll figure it out.”

I did. I worked a half day last Friday. There was a planning meeting and I sat in on that, I asked good questions and everybody seemed to be glad I was there.

Around 10:30 in the morning I asked Becky, “How will I get paid for today’s work?” She said, “Let me find out.” She disappeared. After 45 minutes she came back and said, “We’ll pay you for this half day once you’re on the payroll.”

That was two weeks ago. I haven’t heard a word from the company since then.

I’ve left email and voicemail messages. I just got a voicemail message ten minutes ago from Becky. She said they want me to come back next week and work on a “small project.” When will these people hire me? Or are they just stringing me along? What should I do?

Also, Liz, what steps did I miss? I feel that I should have been more assertive, but how?

Thanks!

Malinda

Dear Malinda,

When Becky said she wasn’t sure how you would get paid for your half day of work on Friday, your next step was to ask her to figure that out and get back to you (in writing).

You can’t agree to take a consulting engagement before you’ve settled on the business terms.

You cannot agree to work for free again and let them pay you “once you’re on the payroll.” What if you never get on the payroll?

Now you have a new opportunity to straighten things out. You can call Martin directly, and tell him that you were happy to jump in two weeks ago and participate in the planning meeting. Tell him that you’re looking forward to firming things up so you can come back again next week.

You cannot go back in there without a job offer or a legal contract. Right now, you are working for free. Don’t dig an even deeper hole for yourself (and lower your perceived value) by working for free again!

Here are 10 things never, ever to do for free:

1. Sit in a staff meeting or show up at work like a person who is employed by the company. If they want you to do that, they can either hire you onto the payroll or hire you as a one-day or half-day consultant at an agreed-upon rate.

2. Create a marketing plan, website copy or any other type of deliverable just because you’re a nice person. I understand that you may have to donate some work time to let them see how smart you are. Limit that donation to one hour of your time. No marketing plan ever took just an hour to write!

3. Interview candidates or sit in on interviews.

4. Visit clients or prospective clients, work the booth at a trade show or participate in a virtual client meeting.

5. Travel on behalf of the company.

6. Develop a training program, Power Point presentation (beyond the one-hour limit) or otherwise teach what you know. They may never hire you or anyone else. They may schedule a whole week of dog-and-pony shows just to get free ideas from job candidates.

7. Interview more than three times.

8. Solve the company’s biggest problem in detail. If they ask you do this, tell them, “I’d love to dive into that project if you’re ready to formalize our relationship with an offer letter or consulting agreement.” Tell them how you would step into the project — not what your conclusions are likely to be.

9. Give up your personal contacts.

10. Take phone calls from your hiring manager or others in the company who simply want to pick your brain. Politely guide them back to the topic at hand, which is the current job opening they are interviewing you for (and the status of your candidacy).

Here’s a script to guide you:

RRRRRRING!

You: Malinda Smith!

Them: Hi, Malinda! This is Greg from Itchy Systems. We met last week. I wanted to talk with you for just a minute about your thoughts on a client issue, if you have a second.

You: Hi, Greg! That sounds great. Listen, where are we in the recruiting pipeline? I’ve lost track. Is there an offer letter on its way to me? I’d love to help you, of course. If we’re coworkers, then we’re in great shape.

Them: I, uh, umm, I don’t know. I think you still have to meet with a few more people here.

You: Oh, OK — thanks for that info! That sounds good. I’ll wait to hear from HR in that case. Maybe you and I can talk once that’s all settled.

Them: I just need a little of your time now —

You: I understand Greg and I’d love to talk, but it’s not appropriate — I don’t work for the company yet. Maybe there are wires crossed somewhere or the process is just winding its way through. If you want to find out and have somebody contact me, I could even call you back once everything is official.

Them: Er — OK.

Nobody ever got a great job by hoping against hope that the company would do the right thing while keeping their mouth shut and tolerating every type of disrespect thrown at them.

The only way you will clarify whether they really need you or whether they’re just taking advantage of you is to call them on it. Set a boundary. You are a professional. It’s time to speak up!

Mother Nature desperately wants you to learn this lesson now. You’re ready for it. Go ahead and take the next step!

Yours,

Liz

Follow me on LinkedIn.

I was a Fortune 500 HR SVP for 10 million years, but I was an opera singer before I ever heard the term HR. The higher I got in the corporate world, the more operatic the action became. I started writing about the workplace for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1997. Now I write for LinkedIn and Forbes.com and lead the worldwide Human Workplace movement to reinvent work for people. My book Reinvention Roadmap: Break the Rules to Get the Job You Want and Career You Deserve is here: amzn.to/2gK7BR7

Source: Ten Things Never, Ever To Do — Unless You’re Getting Paid

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